The Piano Teachers' Course UK

12 years of leading professional development for piano teachers worldwide

Teaching LRSM

We are excited to announce that our first course to prepare teachers for their ABRSM Teaching LRSM is now running (January 2020 - June 2021)!

The next course will run from January 2021 - June 2022.

You will receive tuition from expert tutors Sally Cathcart, PTC tutor and co-founder of The Curious Piano Teachers, and Julie Costley-White, an experienced Teaching DipABRSM and LRSM examiner.

The Teaching LRSM is focused around teaching ABRSM pieces up to Grade 8, and you are required to prepare 3 pieces from the current Grade 8 syllabus to play and discuss in the exam.

For full details, see course content below.

Course Dates: 2021-22 (provisional)

We are reviewing how much of the course can be delivered online. Please let us know whether you have a preference for in person at Purcell or online when you apply.

Sunday 24th January 2021

Saturday 20th - Sunday 21st February 2021

Saturday 10th - Sunday 11th April 2021

Sunday 30th May 2021 (provisionally online)

Sunday 20th June 2021 (provisionally online)

Saturday 25th September 2021 (provisionally online)

Saturday 23rd - Sunday 24th October 2021

Sunday 21st November 2021 (provisionally online)

Sunday 23rd January 2022 (provisionally online)

Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th February 2022

Saturday 2nd April - Sunday 3rd April 2022

Sunday 22nd May 2022 (provisionally online)

Sunday 19th June 2022

  • You must be 20 years of age or older

  • Grade 8 piano

  • Teaching DipABRSM;

  • ABRSM Grade 8 Theory / ABRSM Grade 8 Practical Musicianship

OR a permitted substitution (see page 23 of the ABRSM Teaching Diploma Syllabus)

For help with your Grade 8 theory, we recommend Victoria Williams, at

Course Content - The Teaching LRSM

The following will be covered during the course, but in addition, we strongly recommend all students take piano lessons from a teacher who is experienced in preparing students for diplomas in performance. All PTC Tutors can offer such lessons, as required.

Section 1: Teaching Skills Viva Voce

Section 2.1: Written Submission

Section 2.2: Quick Study

Candidates must achieve at least a Pass in all three sections.

Section 1: Teaching Skills Viva Voce – 60% of the total marks


This comprises a Case Study Portfolio, Video of Teaching Practice and Teaching Skills Viva Voce practical exam:

Case Study Portfolio: Students undertake a Case Study of at least six months duration with three contrasting pupils, to be submitted 3 months prior to the closing date of their practical exam entry.


Video of Teaching Practice: Students make a 60-minute video of their teaching, to be submitted 3 months prior to the closing date of their practical exam entry. The video should be in two sections:

  1. A typical lesson featuring a pupil in their Case Study Portfolio which includes a range of activities.

  2. A demonstration of teaching approaches, featuring a number of pupils of different ages and abilities.


Teaching Skills Viva Voce practical exam: Taking up to 50 minutes of the 75 minute exam, students are required to demonstrate their understanding of the principles of piano teaching, and of a variety of teaching approaches and strategies. They must be familiar with, and bring to the exam, a wide variety of teaching materials, some of which will be the graded ABRSM syllabus up to and including Grade 8.

Students must also choose three contrasting Grade 8 pieces (one from each section A, B and C), from the ABRSM syllabus that will be current when they take their LRSM, and prepare them so that they can perform them, or requested sections of them, and discuss them in terms of teaching and learning.

Students will also be asked questions about teaching and learning under the following headings:


  • Musical Outlook

  • Case Study Portfolio and Video of Teaching Practice

  • Technique

  • Pedagogy

  • Written Submission

  • Repertoire (including tutor books, exercises and other resources up to and including ABRSM Grade 8)

  • Style and Interpretation

  • History and background of the piano

  • Professional values and practice


​Section 2.1: Written Submission – 25% of the total marks

Students select a title from the list and write a 4,500 word essay, to be submitted with their LRSM application form three months prior to their practical exam.

Section 2.2: Quick Study – 15% of the total marks

Taking up to 10 minutes of their 75 minute practical exam, students have five minutes to look at a new piece of Grade 7 in standard, and then play it well enough for pupils to be able to grasp it, and decide whether or not they want to learn it.

Please see the ABRSM Teaching Diploma Syllabus for more information on the sections of the qualification, or contact Lucinda ( to discuss the PTC LRSM Diploma Course.

How will the PTC UK help you gain your Teaching LRSM?

Through attending the PTC Teaching LRSM Course, you will:

  • Be assigned one tutor to work with you towards the Section 1 Case Study and Video of Teaching Practice, and the Section 2.1 Written submission

  • Be assigned a second tutor to work with you towards the Section 1: Teaching Skills Viva Voce and the Section 2.2: Quick Study

  • Have a tutor group for mutual sharing and support

  • Have the opportunity to take a mock Teaching LRSM exam and receive feedback

  • Attend relevant PTC lectures

The PTC Teaching LRSM Course lasts for one and a half years from January to June of the following year. Most students will be ready to take the exam in July of that year, but you can opt to take it later, depending on the advice of your tutors and your own feeling of readiness. It is your responsibility to enter yourself and pay for your exam.


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